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Sudan military junta releases prominent opposition members from detention

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The Sudanese military junta has kept to its recent promise by releasing some of the country’s prominent opposition figures who have been in detention since February on charges of corruption.

The coup leader, General Abdel Fattat al-Burhan, earlier this month, said he had discussed the possibility of the men’s release, while maintaining they were not political detainees.

Prominent Sudanese politician and former Cabinet minister Khalid Omer Yousif, was one of those who were released on bail on Tuesday, after an extended detention, a lawyer on his defense team said.

Yousif and other politicians were arrested in February after the military leaders who shared power with the civilian coalition they were part of, discredited their work on a committee working to dismantle the regime of infamous dictator Omar al-Bashir.

Two other prominent opposition members and former government officials, Mohamed al-Faki Suleiman and Wagdi Salih, were however, not released and are being held on other charges, accirding to a lawyer, Iqbal Ahmed.

The two men were outspoken critics of the military prior to the coup and were arrested and thrown into detention immediately after the coup, Ahmed said.

Two other politicians Babiker Faisal and Taha Othman were ordered to pay a “prohibitive bond” of 25 million Sudanese pounds each.

“This decision indicates the continuation of the coup leaders’ policy of unlawful detentions and malicious charges,” Jaafar Hassan, spokesman for the Forces of Freedom and Change coalition, said in a statement.

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Ruling junta, politicians sign agreement for civil transition in Sudan. Will it work?

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An agreement for a civilian-led transition that will last for two years has been made between Sudanese political parties and the military.

The arrangement is toward elections and ends a sometimes violent standoff triggered by a coup in October 2021.

The power-sharing arrangement between the military and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition was delayed due to the absence of a Prime Minister after a coup in 2021.

The military under the new arrangement agreed it would only be represented on a security and defence council headed by a prime minister.

The military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said civilians should control politics and guide foreign policy. Signatories applauded when he repeated a slogan used by protesters to call for the army to exit politics: “Soldiers belong in the barracks, and parties go to elections.”

Recall that Sudanese politician, Wagdi Salih was released from prison on Sunday ahead of the discussion surrounding the coalition agreement.

Meanwhile, the transition plan does not seem to have sat well with some session of the public as security officers fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters about 1-1/2km from the presidential palace on Monday over the development.

One of the protesters, 36-year-old state employee Ahmed Fateh al-Rahman, said. “We want justice for our martyrs, trial for the military, and civilian rule.” “We will defeat this agreement because it is an extension of the coup.”

Will the arrangement lead to lasting progress in the political crises facing the East African country?

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Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango, to visit Ivory Coast for summit on nutrition

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Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango is set to visit and attend the African Union (AU) High-level meeting to address issues of nutrition on the continent.

Fourteen member countries are participating in a two-day meeting which includes governments, experts, and cooperating partners.

The Vice President Permanent Secretary for Administration, Lilian Kapusana confirmed the journey on Tuesday.

Among other issues, the Vice President will reaffirm the commitments by the ruling government’s commitment to ensuring food security in the country.

“Mrs. Nalumango will address the challenges and milestones made in food and nutrition together with our cooperating partners who gave implemented projects in addressing issues of malnutrition and stunted growth in the country,” Ms. Kapusana said.

Participating countries at the summit are expected to reaffirm commitments to improving food and nutrition through agreements that will be signed during the course of the deliberations.

The United Nations Children’s Fund reported that in 2021, six million children are affected by life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in West and Central Africa.

Hopefully, the summit on nutrition will end with concrete measures to address some of the issues like land and crop degradation, periodic droughts and weather-related shocks, poverty, limited access to basic food staples and essential services, and population growth, which all contribute to emergency levels of malnutrition in the region.

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